WICHITA, Kan. – Three members of the Kansas militia were convicted on Wednesday for bombing a mosque and an apartment complex for Somali refugees. An attack was thwarted by another member of the group chancellor over increasing threats of violence.
Patrick Stein, Gavin Wright and Curtis Allen were convicted of conspiracy to use a weapons of mass destruction and conspiracy against civil rights. Wright was found guilty of lying to the FBI. The conviction is set for June 27th.
U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions called the judgments a significant victory over domestic terrorism and hate crimes
"The defendants in this case acted with clear premeditation in an attempt to kill people on the basis of their religion and national origin," Sessions said in a press release. "Not only is it illegal – it's immoral and unacceptable, and we will not stand for it."
Defenders did not want to comment after the verdict.
The three men were charged in October 2016 for planning an attack for the day after the presidential election in the meat-processing town of Garden City, about 220 miles west of Wichita.
FILE – This combination of October 14, 2016, file booking photos from the Sheriff's Office in Wichita, Kan., Sedgwick County, shows from left, Patrick Stein, Curtis Allen, and Gavin Wright, three members of a Kansas militia , who were accused of bombing a residential building with Somali immigrants in Garden City, Kan Wednesday, April 18, 2018, found the three men guilty. All were condemned for conspiring to use a weapons of mass destruction and conspiracy against civil liberties. Wright was found guilty of lying to the FBI. The sentence is set for June 27th. (Sedgwick County Sheriff's Office via AP, File) (Associated Press)
U.S. Attorney Stephen McAllister told reporters that the jury's verdicts are "a victory for the rule of law and national security".
The prosecutors have stated that Dan Day, another member of the militia, was alarmed by threats from his peers to carry a wire as a paid informant. The case of the government showed months of profane records, with militia members discussing plans and calling Somalis "cockroaches."
"This confidential source is also recommended to do the right thing and the courage he has proven" McAllister said:
Wright is recorded in a record, hoping that an attack on the Somali people and inspire others to take similar action against Muslims.
"We welcome the guilty verdicts in this disturbing case, hoping that anyone considering turning bigotry views into violent actions will see what their fate will be when it is picked up and prosecuted by law enforcement agencies," said Moussa Elbayoumy, Chairman of the Kansas chapter of the Council for American-Islamic Relations.
argued that the men formed a splinter group of the Kansas Security Force militia known as the Crusaders. The testimonies and shots The men tried to recruit other members of the Kansas security forces.
According to prosecutors, Stein was told about the type of fuel and fertilizer bomb that Timothy McVeigh used in the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing and killed 168 people. Stein was arrested for delivering 300 pounds (135 kilograms) of fertilizer to undercover FBI agents to make explosives.
Defense lawyers said the FBI set up the men with a paid informant and that all talk about violence was not serious. They said that men have the right to freedom of expression and association under the US Constitution.
The prosecution argued that the plot was more than words.
The men discussed procuring vehicles and blowing them up around corners of the apartment complex to create an explosion that would overthrow and level the entire complex, McAllister said. They downloaded recipes from the Internet and experimented with these explosives and tested them.
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